Thursday, January 03, 2008

Environmental Products

Save the environment!! I have been scouring endless sites to find something that I can really buy and reduce the burden on our fast crumbling planet.

All I could lay my hands on were products which were:

1. Too bulky and oversized for a small place like mine (Solar, wind items)
2. Too expensive (Again solar cookers)
3. Too self involved, like this never ending range of herbal skin products, which I don't see how are going to save the earth
4. Irrelevant and environmentally damaging products like wooden toys which would have involved a bit of tree cutting I assume
5. Recycled Paper - good, but its not only very expensive to be substituted for paper, but also very shabbily bound and too unwieldy

And then the environmentalists crying hoarse about global warming wonder why we are not going green and behaving like deaf mutts. Consider all the countries which are really damaging this pretty green earth...hell, consider India...
With a majority of the population struggling for a one time meal, you can't expect them to buy recycled paper for their morning roadside business, or a solar cooker to cook yesterday's leftovers from some restaurant.
So where does that leave us? What other options do we have here?
Maybe tell people to buy lesser cars? Well, for all those egoistic I've-newly-found-wealth IT industry show offs, it's a hard argument to push down their throats. Or in cities like Pune, with a rotten public transport system, I'd rather go anywhere by auto than a bus.

My main aim of the rant being, if any change has to take place, the alternatives should be cheaper, faster, and better than the smoke and toxic spewing instruments we have. They also need smarter marketing than just saying they are environmentally friendly, because even though that sounds like a moral compulsion, people are expert at arguing against compunctions.

After all, the argument of a dying world doesn't click in the brain as fast as anything related to money and convenience does.

PS: Both my homes are now totally bulb free. We've gone in for the CFLs which reduce harmful CO2 emissions. They are expensive but more than make up for the initial cost by having a really long life and also come with a year's warranty. I personally also prefer the white light of the CFLs to the bright yellow blobs.
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Aadil said...

Great post!
There are proverbial both sides to all coins, but my current favourites are : Thumbs up to the carbon credit market, and thumbs down to the 1 lakh car.

Rujuta said...

I agree about the CC market.
But for the 1 lakh car, there seems to be a huge demand, and all people have a right to own what can be termed as a luxury item.
So there again is a tough one, one more challenge for the green products.

Aadil said...

while people have this right, it is the responsibility of the government to analyze whether a new product hitting the market is detrimental to its citizens welfare. I believe the one lakh car is. I absolve Tatas of the guilt though, they are businessmen and will work within the framework of the law. It is the governments call to tax luxury products and use the proceeds to improve civic transport.

Rujuta said...

Makes sense. Ofcourse the Indian governement has got the first part right, about taxing I mean. As far using the proceeds is concerned, they get used all right, but not on transport :)

Practical Preacher said...

Did u know that all CFLs contain a lot of mercury? So all those NGOs campaigning for it are just promoting one technology over the other. Its all driven by money, honey.
I'll bet 10 years from now there will be a new technology that's mercury free. And a new green campaign to stop poisoning our world with mercury.
The Practical Preacher would rather burn a few more pieces of wood rather than poison this planet.

Jaideep said...

Why the sallow mood? Afterall we indians eat cake when we don't have bread.

Rujuta said...

@Practical Preacher:
I had heard about a few issues and did research it up bfore writing the post, but i didnt get any conclusive evidence, that if properly disposed, and reused it would poison the environment.
I prefer acting now, with whatever we have, and substituting it with new technology whenever it comes. Theres no time to waste !!

We really need to gear up our act if we have to save our earth, and ourselves from what we are currently doing to it.